From the atomic bomb dropped over Japan to nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, there is strong public demand for information on the cancer risks from radiation exposure. In this article, the author explores some of the biological phenomenon that could alter or confirm current concepts of low-dose effects. Reviewing bystander effects, adaptive responses, and genomic instability, the author writes that these phenomena could revolutionize conventional understanding of how to approach cancer risk assessments in low-dose, possibly protracted, environments. Though current consensus supports a linear no-threshold model, evidence suggests that these biological responses just may overturn that thinking.
The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent, nonprofit media organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.